Ex-F1 world champ Hill is Mumbai Marathon ambassador

Former Formula One world champion Damon Hill was on Tuesday named the event ambassador for the 11th edition of the $360,000 Mumbai Marathon to be run on January 19.

The 1996 British world champion was Michael Schumacher's arch rival during the mid-1990s. He is the son of late Graham Hill and they are the only father-son duo to win the F1 drivers' title. Born September 17, 1960, Hill has had 122 Grand Prix entries, 22 wins, 42 podiums, 20 poles and 19 fastest laps in his career which lasted from 1992-99. The death of his father in a plane crash in 1975 left the 15- year-old in drastically reduced circumstances and Hill worked as a labourer and motorcycle courier to support his education.

The 53-year-old started his racing career in 1991 as a test driver with the championship winning Williams team while still competing in Formula 3000. Racing for Williams in 1996, Hill went on to win the title ahead of his rookie teammate Jacques Villeneuve.

Hill will be in Mumbai from January 16 till event day and hopes to inspire the younger generation of Indian sportspersons to work hard for glory. During his visit here he will meet elite athletes, encourage amateur athletes and spread the message worldwide about the event and the running movement in India.

In 1996 the Williams car was clearly the quickest in Formula One and Hill went on to win the title ahead of his rookie teammate Jacques Villeneuve, becoming the only son of a Formula One champion to win the championship himself. Taking eight wins and never qualifying off the front row, Hill enjoyed by far

his most successful season. At Monaco, where his father had won five times in the 1960s, he led until his engine failed, curtailing his race and allowing Olivier Panis to take his only Formula One win. Near the end of the season, Villeneuve began to mount a title challenge and took pole in the Japanese Grand Prix, the final race of the year.

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